Water Resources Studies in Karkheh basin: a Systematic Approach

Problems involving the process of integrated water resources management (IWRM) such as finding the best solution on water allocation and conflict resolution are challenging issues in Karkheh basin. The goal of water resources development plan in Karkheh basin is to gain benefits from the agricultural development and hydropower generation with minimum impacts. An MCDM analysis in water resources planning was used to choose the best or the most preferred alternatives and/or rank the alternatives in a descending order of preferences. The alternatives were in fact the network of water resources sinks, sources, and the links between them as well as the scenarios affecting the operation of the system. Examples of the considered alternatives were: changes in withdrawal from surface and ground water; constructing new surface reservoir and hydropower plant projects; hydropower generation; and water allocation to different consumptive and non-consumptive use. All of these alternatives were analyzed and supported by a spatial decision support system to analyze their benefits and socio-economic and environmental impacts over the basin. A spatial MCDM (Spatial Multi-Criteria Decision Making) was developed and used through a GIS-based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) for the purpose of water resources planning. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision- Making techniques (MCDM) were employed through the developed SMCDM to support solving IWRM problems in Karkheh basin.